An Arizona federal judge ruled Monday that the self-described “QAnon Shaman” – who garnered widespread recognition after storming the U.S. Capitol shirtless, wearing face paint, a bearskin and horned headdress on Jan. 6 – must remain jailed until his trial.
Judge Royce Lamberth said Jacob Chansley doesn’t fully appreciate the severity of the charges against him and found none of Chansley’s “many attempts to manipulate the evidence and minimize the seriousness of his actions” to be persuasive.
He said Chansley’s willingness to resort to violence and refusal to follow police orders during the siege signal that he wouldn’t follow court-ordered conditions of release.
Lamberth’s ruling comes after an interview Chansley gave “60 Minutes Plus” which aired last Thursday on “CBS This Morning” – the day before a D.C. judge heard arguments over Chansley’s potential pre-trial release.
The judge wrote that Chansley carried a spear into the siege, used a bullhorn to encourage other rioters, profanely referred to then-Vice President Mike Pence as a traitor while in the Senate, and wrote a note to the Pence saying, “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.”
Chansley, who disputed that the note was intended to be threatening, also made a social media post in November in which he promoted hangings for traitors.
“Reading that note in the context of defendant’s earlier promotion of the execution of ‘traitors’ invalidates the notion that defendant breached the Capitol merely to leave peaceful, political commentary on the Senate dais,” Lamberth wrote, adding that Chansey’s actions have demonstrated a “detachment from reality.”
The judge sided with prosecutors who argued that the 6-inch spear mounted atop the flagpole carried by Chansley into the Capitol was a dangerous weapon. His attorney had characterized the spear as an ornament.
Chansley’s attorney also said his client was in the third wave of rioters who went into the Capitol. But the judge said video shows Chansley, who entered through Capitol through a doorway as rioters smashed nearby windows, “quite literally spearheaded” the rush into the building.
He has been jailed since his arrest in the days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol as Congress was certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump.
Chansley’s attorney, Al Watkins, said his client didn’t act violently inside the Capitol and disputed that Chansley was any sort of leader in the riot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.